The Bitcoin BTC/USD mine was stealing thousands of pounds worth of electricity from the main supply, police said.
What Happened: The West Midlands Police in central England, looking for a cannabis farm, has found an illegal bitcoin mine located in an industrial unit on the outskirts of Birmingham.
They found banks of computers illegally tapping the electricity needed to mine for Bitcoin, West Midlands Police said in a statement.
Police were alerted of numerous people visiting the location at different times of the day. Wiring and ventilation ducts that were visible and voluminous also raised concerns.
Following these suspicions, the police flew a drone above the location, which picked up a considerable heat source from above.
Upon raid, police discovered a bank of around 100 computer units as part of what's understood to be a bitcoin mining operation.
"It's certainly not what we were expecting," Jennifer Griffin, Sandwell police sergeant, said in a statement. "It had all the hallmarks of a cannabis cultivation set-up, and I believe it's only the second such crypto mine we've encountered in the West Midlands."
"We've seized the equipment and will be looking into permanently seizing it under the Proceeds of Crime Act," Griffin said.
"No one was at the unit at the time of the warrant, and no arrests have been made - but we'll be making inquiries with the unit's owner," Griffin added.
Western Power, the electricity distribution operator for the Midlands, revealed that the electric supply had been bypassed, and thousands of pounds worth had been stolen to power the crypto mine.
Why It Matters: According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin's electricity consumption is currently greater than The Netherlands'.
Mining for Bitcoin requires massive amounts of power to solve complex mathematical equations for transactions.
Governing bodies have raised concerns about the enormous energy consumption needed to mine cryptocurrencies.
Iran has banned cryptocurrency mining ahead of an anticipated surge in electricity demand.
New York legislators are considering a bill that would place a three-year moratorium on crypto mining until the state has assessed its impact on the environment.
China's Inner Mongolia region is heading for a crypto-mining ban by setting up a hotline for the general public to report suspected activity.
Photo: West Midlands Police Website
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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